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Chicago Artist Group Portrait 2015

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Chicago Artist Group Portrait 2015

Published June 20, 2015

On Saturday, June 20th, 2015, ALL self-identifying Chicago Artists were invited to sit for a group portrait on the steps of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL  

Over 600 artists arrived to be included in the portrait.  The open ended and non-discriminating gesture brought a diverse array of practitioners from across the city to form this historical moment.  

Organized by Jason Lazarus
Photo Assistants:
Aron Gent
Patrick Putze

Many thanks to give:

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago volunteers and staff who were so thoughtful, collaborative, and willing, with special mentions for curator Steven L. Bridges and Madeleine Grynsztejn for immediate openess and enthusiasm, Julie Rodrigues Widholm for immediate support,
Duncan Robert Anderson for logistics, Abraham Ritchie for social media,
Elena Grotto for non stop coordinating, (all those prep meetings paid off)!
Sylvie Hayes-WallaceKevin Barrett WeilDaniel Stephen Miller for being first points of contact for many excited attendees.  And most important, 
ALL ATTENDEES for being super patient and lovely!
PS thank you to the immovable pigeon for bearing symbolic load and providing comic relief!


The Original Invite:


Dear Chicago Artists,

You are warmly invited to stand in a group portrait, rain or shine, on the front steps of the MCA Chicago on Saturday, June 20th, mark your calendars! Given the unique light/shadow situation that changes all day on front steps, it is looking likely that the photograph will need to be made at 12:30pm, and the plaza is open to attendees to socialize and primp starting at 11:30am...stay tuned for a confirmation of these times!

Arrival and Check-In: 11:30am-12:30pm
Photoshoot: 12:30pm-1:15pm 



The group portrait will be owned by everyone and become part of the public domain! It is my intention to not ‘own’ this photograph but to put it online for anyone to print, alter, distribute as they see fit (as this seems to happen anyways in our image culture) other words, I want to have it in the public domain where I think it belongs and watch it move around, mutate, and engage a greater audience. 

For any minors who wish to join in the moment, please bring your parent or guardian sign a release form provided at the event.

If you have questions about this, email


"The most powerful human forces are found in the meeting of the face and the gaze. Only there do we exist for one another. In the gaze of the other, we become, and in our own gaze others become. It is there, too, that we can be destroyed. Being unseen is devastating, and so is not seeing." --Karl Oove Knausgaard, New Yorker, 2015

On June 20th, 2015 I organized a group portrait on the iconic, three-tier, front cascade of steps to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Billing it through email solicitations, social media, and press as an invite to any ‘Chicago Artist,’ the final decision of whether that label successfully applied was left up to the individual.

The notion to create this moment was personal and collective. Having recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Media at the University of South Florida, Tampa I had recently come to obsess on all of the significant relationships and experiences I’ve had in Chicago, a place where I became interested in art while working at a conceptual theatre in Hyde Park in 1999. Newly post-MFA in 2003, I began to experience many moments of doubt and precarity.

Twelve years later and about to leave the city, I can say for sure that whatever talent or work ethic I might have employed, the city MADE me. Chicago artists ambitions, thoughts, tweets, criticisms, ingenuity, writing, profundity, collectivity, pragmatism, and single-mindedness MADE me. I have belonged to many communities while in Chicago–institutional or medium-based, communities based on attitude, humor, poverty, privilege, empathy, criticality, collectivity, in-communities, out-communities, moments of bodies and minds coming together that only lasted one night. Communities based on drunk musings and mutual desire. Some of the most transformative communities are unplanned, totally liquid, and may last a moment at best.

One of the most profound moments of the Chicago Artist Group Portrait was two weeks prior when talking to a former student who displays much talent and future promise. When I asked her if she planned to attend the portrait, she replied that she didn’t feel like she was part of the Chicago artist community. I asked her to explain, but I immediately understood her point of view. These memberships are intensely subjective, impetuous, and momentary. For all of the goodwill a collective moment may create, her response was the perfect irritant to a tidy narrative, and charged the edges of the actual portrait as violent and revelatory.

Solidarity with a community, momentary or otherwise, can soften and embolden in a career that is at the end of the day still based on stretches of solitude and salt to create meaning. Perhaps with the collectivity of myriad networked communities, a sense of solitude is most important to keep in focus?

Still, having that many bodies together in 2015 feels RADICAL! Through proximity, feeling the sweat and heat of those past community members is beyond eroticism. There is undeniable goodwill here, but still, individual sitters generate heat yet cast shadows on each other. There is a front and a back. There is the loud shirt and the averted gaze. There is the nausea of claustrophobia, the social anxiety, the benign and unknowing dog. What to make of all of this?

History will tell us, or not. More likely, these community thresholds will be crossed by our minds and our hearts before our bodies catch up. Where our body ends up is a footnote to the real story.

--Jason Lazarus, August 2015

Identifier ChicagoArtistGroupPortrait2015
Mediatype image
Creator Jason Lazarus
Date 2015-06-20
Scanner Internet Archive HTML5 Uploader 1.6.3
Publicdate 2015-09-08 01:50:09
Addeddate 2015-09-08 01:50:09
Year 2015
Backup_location ia905501_2



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Dan Addington
Saúl Aguirre
Carlotta Aikens
Nick Albertson
Diana Alleyne
Drew Alleyne
Marcus Sterling Alleyne
Dorian Allworthy
Daina Almario-Kopp
Candida Alvarez
Brandon Alvendia
Kayla Anderson
Joanne Aono
Masha Aptekar
Patricia Armato
Nelson Armour
CouSandra Armstrong
Oscar Arriola
Claire Ashley
Jeffrey Michael Austin
Matthew Avignone
Rocio Azarloza
Amy Babinec
Lise Haller Baggesen
Debra Balchen
Almond Ball
Andy Ball
Brett Ian Balogh
Nancy Pochis Bank + Kona
Larissa Barnat
Raquel Barraga
Lynn Basa
Dana Bassett
Leslie Baum
Gaby Silva Bavio
Nicole Beck
Karen Becker
Meghan Moe Beitiks
Ramona Belea
Mary Beth Bellon
Shannon Belock
Margot Bergman
Eva Bialecki
Samantha Bittman
Rose Blouin
Deborah Boardman
Douglas Boehm
Lincoln Boll
Janice Bond
Mala Bosen
Paul Branton
Brandon Breaux
Tara Breinig
Veronica Bruce
Elliot Buchner
Zachary Buchner
Jennifer Anne Buckley
Nik Burkhart
Robert Burnier
Tom Burtonwood
Corinna Button
Kirsten Byers
Phillip Cabeen
Holly Cahill
Zachary Cahill
Luzvinda Calo
Nico Camargo
Marlene Campbell aka Frances Guichard
Sal Campbell
Sola Cardoso
Steven Carrelli
Evan Carrison
Brad Carter
Jeff Carter
Karen Carter
Cleofe Guangko Casambre MD
Chris Cassidy
Laura Cerf-Dahl
Jon Chambers
Wes Charles
Salome Chasnoff
Nicole Cherry
Robert Chi
Diane Christiansen
Janina Ciezadlo
Jasmine Clark
Robert Lewis Clark
Daniel Cleary
Claudia Cleveland
Erikka Cochran aka Mr Nice Guy
Houston Cofield
Summer Coleman
Georgia Colson
Andrew S. Conklin
Kelli Connell
Mario Contreras
Sylvia Cook
Kass Copeland
Eric Cortez
Chris Cosnowski
Laura Coyle
Andi Crist
Ollie Crist
Jacob Crose
Tigerlily Cross
Ivonne Cruz
Juan L. Cruz
Pia Cruzalegui
Chris Cunningham
Paul D’Amato
Laura Davis
Dana Day
Melanie Deal
Stephanie G. Dean
Lora Delestowilz-Wierzbowski
Katarzyna Derda
Katherine Desjardins
Mark Diaz
Ricardo Manuel Diaz
Christine DiThomas
Robin Dluzen
Ray Doeksen
William Dolan
Alma Dominguez
Susanne Doremus
Jim Duignan
Meg Duguid
Stephania Dulowski
Emmanuel L. White Eagle
Bill Eaton
Ken Ellis
Chris Elmore
Shai Ervionne
Shuli Eshel
Paul Esposito
Siena Esposito
Hope Esser
Angel Essig
Alicia Everett
Susan Fauer
Khalfani Faulkner
Collin Feigle
Elena Feijoo
Anne Leuck Feldhaus
Alejandro Figueredo
Jessica Fine
Andreas Fischer
Obree Fischer
Mr. Fish
Brandy Fisher
Eric Fleischauer
Rex Flodstrom
Steven Ford
Alicia Forestall-Boehm
Christine Forni
Rachel Foster
Deirdre Fox
Marilyn Frank
Max Frank
Peter Frank
Neil Frankel
Jean Alexander Frater
Lindsey French
Dianna Frid
Snow Yunxue Fu
Diana Gabriel
Anne Farley Gaines
Anna Villarreal Garbis
Laura Husar Garcia
Noelle Garcia
Maria Gaspar
Catherine Gass
Stacey Lee Gee
Michael Genge
Aron Gent
Jane Georges
Don Gerkow
Monte Gerlach
Tiffany Gholar
Azadeh-Azi Gholizadeh
Shelley Gilchrist
Susan Giles
Rosalynn Gingerich
Ted Glasoe
Winifred Godfrey
Leo Godoy
Lisa Goesling
Liz Gomez
Sergio Gomez
Diana Leviton Gondek
Stephanie Graham
Michelle Graves
Peter Gray
Emily Green
Jennifer Greenburg
David Jude Greene
Chris Grieshaber
Megan Gundelfinger
Magalie Guerin
André Guichard
Sarvin Haghighi
Stuart Hall
Deirdre Hamill-Squiers
Patrick Earl Hammie
Kate Hampel
Luke Hampton
Meg Handler
Nasim Hantehzadeh
Donna Hapac
Brock Hardnett
Alice Hargrave
Anne Harris
Rachel Harper
Jessica Harvey
Tracy Ostmann Haschke
Julia Haw
Erin Hayden
Sylvie Hayes-Wallace
Eric Von Haynes
Fletcher Hayes
Nancy Hejna
Jerry Heller
Paula Henderson
Riley Henderson
Carole Hennessy
Anneli Henriksson
Mike Herbert
Traci Hercher
Lucia Herrera
Greg Hill
Jeanine Hill-Soldner
Julie Hobert
Jay Hoendervoogt
Anni Holm
Sven Axel Abasolo Holm
Felicia Holman
Holly Holmes
Ellen Holtzblatz
Sandra Holubow
Joe Hormuth
Jason House
Whitney Huber
Seth Hunter
Annette Hur
Lisa Hutler
Ruyell Ho
Thomas Huston
Camille Iemmolo
Regin Igloria
Pedro Igrez
Yumibo Irei-Gokce
Konstantin Jacé
Elee “EGZ” Jackson
Tim Jackson
Natalie Jacobson
James Jankowiak
Elnaz Javani
Joel Javier
Jane Jerardi
Mathew Jinks
Bettina Johnson
Charlie Johnson
Cynthia Johnson
David Jones
Erika Jones
Jeremiah Jones
Tatjana Jovanćevic
Vesna Jovanovic
Hyun Jung Jun
Rita Dianni Kaleel
Robert Kameczura
Dubi Kaufmann
Niaz Kausar
Benjamin Keddy
Makeba Kedem-DuBose
Audrey Keiffer
James Martin Pepper Kelly
Kye Kim
Melvin King
Katie Kirk
Julia Klein
Sally Ko
Barbara Koenen
Jennifer Kolb
Matthew Kopp
Kristin Korolowicz
Gosia Koscielak
Bethany Koscinski
Sarah Krepp
Loralyn Kumlin
Anna Kunz
Jasmine Kwong
Molly Laemle
Jenny Lam
Bryant Lamont
Alex Laniosz
Rodrigo Lara
Kim Laurel
Vesna Lazar
Jason Lazarus
Louise LeBourgeois
Beatriz E. Ledesma
Jean Lee
Jina Lee
Min Sun Lee
Kristen Leenaars
Riva Lehrer
Sandra Leonard
Bert Leveille
Cara Megan Lewis
Jean Lewis
Jiaqi Li
Fran Lightbound
Ashley Lindsey
Lisa Lindvay
Chris Little
Lucy Ping Liu
Chérie Lockett
Nazafarim Lotfi
Tekki Lomnicki
Angela Lopez
Madeleine Lowery
John Lusis
Gwenn-Aël Lynn
Owen Macfarland
Duncan Mackenzie
Maddy Mad
Benjamin Madeska
Faheem Majeed
Anastasia Mak
Suzanne Makol
Amy Malcolm
Jesse Malmed
Aubrey Ingmar Manson
Arielle Allessandra Marq
Elyse Martin
Victoria Martinez
Jonathan Mathias
Judith Mayer
Renee McGinnis
Doug McGoldrick
Molly McGrath
Billy McGuinness
Finn McGuinness
Carolyn McMahon
Mark McMahon
Harold Mendez
H. Melt
James Mesplė
Robert Metrick
Sarah Meyer
Ruth Aizuss Midgal
Curt Miller
Daniel Stephen Miller
Avisheh Mohsenin
Rory Monaghan
Brian Morgan
River Morgan
Matt Morris
William J. Morris
Ashley Mosser
Lee Mosser
Eileen Mueller
Raven Munsell
Abbey Muzatko
Marina Muzychenko
Oscar Nalls
Nancy Natow-Cassidy
Martina Nehrling
Jeroen Nelemans
Chris Newman
Erik Newman
Huong Ngo
Cait Nisiomon
Sharyl Noday
Alexandra Noe
Eugene Noel
Julie Oehmke
Helen Oh
Kristi O’Meara
John Opera
Peter Overman
Kikomo P
Dana Parisi
Michael K. Paxton
Lauren Payne
Rachel T. Perrine
Marya K. Peters
Mikey Peterson
Olivia Petides
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Tony Phillips
Cole Pierce
Tim Pigott
Sandy Piña
Melissa Ann Pinney
Kim Piotrowski
Jono Pivovar
Rodney Poinler
Joyce Polance
Dana Todd Pope
Emory Pope
Exavier Pope
Sheila M. Powell
Duane Preston
Felicia Grant Preston
Carmen Price
Marilyn Propp
Patrick Putze
Aza Quinn-Braunet
Erika Raberg
Donna Radcliffe
Eia Radosavljevic
Waseem Rahman
Kaveri Raina
Elena Rakochy
Arlene Rakoncay
Chance Ramirez
Judith Raphael
Bruce Rauner
Wolfie Egor Rawk
Omid S. Razavi
Kao Razen
Jason Reblando
Chris Reeves
Allison Reimus
Aptyp Rennep
Rachael Reuter
Maddie Reyna
Juan Reynoso
Jacqueline J. Richard-Nalls
Anne Richardson
Ryan Richey
Carly Ries
Kayla Risko
Maria Avila Risolute
Abraham Ritchie
Emma Robbins
Cole Robertson
Judy Robins
Jeff Robinson
Tom Robinson
Gabrielle Rogers
Travis Roozėe
Eleanor Ross
Lydia Ross
Judith Roth
Carrie Ruckel
Gregg Ruffing
Ciara Ruffino
Robert Salazar
Jess Saldaña
Melody Saraniti
Ross Sawyers
Max Schif
Kyle Schlie
Jordan Schulman
Catherine Schwalbe
Laurel Schwulst
Joel Score
Suzanne Sebold
Heather Mauritz Sepanik
Laura Lee Settles
Rusty Shackleford
Beth Shadur
Galina Shevchenko
Tom Shirley
Ashley Allen Short
Charles Shotwell
Betsy Siber
Matt Siber
Johannah Silva
Stephanie Sims
Nicholas Sistler
Alan Skalaski
Pete Skvara
Casey Smallwood
Willy Smart
Christopher Smith
Yvette Kaiser Smith
Rachel Smith
Jin Song
Alyssa Sorresso
Edra Soto
Michael Soto
Jeanette Spencer
Raquel Stallworth
Jessica Stanfill
Rahmaan Statik
Edyta Stephen
Eric Stephenson
Ellis von Sternberg
Lorelei Stewart
Patricia Stewart
Walter Street IV
Jaroslaw Studencki
Amanda Sukenick
Dan Sullivan
Marshall Svendsen
Kevin Swallow
Mark Swindle
Brad Stumpf
Lauren Sudbrink
Brian Sykes
Dorian Sylvain
JeNaé Taylor
Jennifer Taylor
Pearlie Taylor
Linda Tegg
Elena Tejada-Herrera
Marcus Thinh Anthony Thibodeau
Raymond A. Thomas
Michael Thompson
Michele Thrane
Karen Tichy
Keith Tolch
Cheryl Toles
Debra Torres
Diana Torres
Darnell Towns
John Edmond Towns
Selina Trepp
Stephanie Harris Trevor
Lynn Tsan
Arlene Turner-Crawford
Asli Uludag
Allen Vandever
Ceilia Vargas
Valentina Vella
Garry Vettori
Katie Voght
Danny Volk
Susan Volk
Kinnari Vova
Martha Wade
Brian Wadford
Kellen Walker
Eileen Rae Walsh
Maura Walsh
Juliann Wang
Mia O. Wang
Erin Washington
Michelle Wasson
Kathleen Waterloo
Michael Wawzenek
Kathy Weaver
Yvette Weijergang
Kevin Weil
Margaret Welsh
Laura Wetter
Glenn Wexler
Rhonda Wheatley
Sam Whitaker
Bill Whiteside
Amanda Williams
Gerald Williams
Reisha Williams
Bryce Wilner
Bruce Wilson
Fo Wilson
Kurt Wolf
Jay Wolke
Luther A. Woodley
Sarah Beth Woods
Derrick Woods-Morrow
Krista Wortendyke
Allison Yasukawa
Craig Yu
Gwendolyn Zabicki
Dmyo Zaoye
Valentina Zamfirescu
Stella Zee
Yuge Zhou
Jill Zylke

and for those artists missing?

“All those absent giants of jazz, and others too numerous mention, are nonetheless felt somehow to be present—represented by musicians who played with them, and who inspired and were inspired by them. Like with any family reunion, its absent members are with us in spirit.”

-Ian Patterson, on those giants missing from the epic 1958 group portrait A Great Day in Harlem


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